New 'The Lion King' portraits prompt roars of laughter online

Beyoncé with character Nala. Photo: Disney

Disney has released new images of the stars behind the paws of the highly-anticipated The Lion King reboot.

The reimagining of the 1994 smash-hit has long-time fans waiting with bated breath, but the latest tease has seen some much needed comic relief coming out of the woodworks.

The dramatic images feature the stars photographed face to face with their feline and assorted animal counterparts.

Out of the star-studded cast, online fans have of course zeroed in on Beyonce’s role and shared some hilarious interpretations of the highly charged image.

Others saw a brand new creative opportunity being squandered.

Others weren’t buying Nala’s chill attitude when confronted with the queen of pop herself.

The cast lineup

The rest of the cast also had people talking, with names from Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) to Seth Rogan, to the original voice of Mufasa, James Earl Jones, reprising the gravelly gravitas of the 1994 original.

Read more: How Disney rescued Lion King from jaws of defeat

The effects behind the animation are being praised for their hyper realistic recreation of the animals, as the movie comes to life in the kind of special effect technology that has only just been achieved.

Donald Glover with his character Simba. Photo: Disney
Beyoncé with character Nala. Photo: Disney
Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as the incorrigible Timon and Pumba, and John Oliver as Zazu. Photo: Disney
Alfre Woodard as Simba's mum Sarabi. Photo: Disney
James Earl Jones comes back as the beloved Mufasa. Photo: Disney

Big shoes to fill

The film follows in its predecessors steps.

The original film boasted Matthew Broderick as Simba, Moira Kelly as Nala and Jeremy Irons as Scar, and was its year’s second highest grossing film.

The story was later translated to a Broadway musical directed by Julie Taymor. The musical debuted in 1997 and continues to run in New York and around the world in various other road productions.

The first trailer for The Lion King, which debuted Thanksgiving weekend in 2018, was viewed some 225 million times in the first 24 hours of its release.

The Lion King debuts on 19 July, the 25th anniversary of the original film.

Reporting by Penny Burfitt, Yahoo Lifestyle AU